Zack Greinke has yet to lose to the Texas Rangers in just over two seasons with the Houston Astros.
The veteran right-hander will look for a fifth straight victory over the Rangers on Sunday when the visiting Astros aim for a series sweep at Arlington, Texas.
Greinke (11-4, 3.41 ERA) has won all four starts versus Texas since joining Houston around the 2019 trading deadline, posting a 3.65 ERA with 22 strikeouts and six walks in the process. Three of those wins have come in 2021, with Greinke yielding seven runs over 18 2/3 innings.
He has pitched well in August, going 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA in four starts. He gave up a homer, one other run and six hits over six innings in Monday’s 7-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
He’ll look to help the American League West-leading Astros win their fifth in a row and complete a three-game series sweep of Texas.
“These guys, they battle,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said after his team posted a 5-2 win on Saturday.
Yordan Alvarez homered for the second time in three games Saturday. He’s batting .309 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in his past 13 contests. In his career, Alvarez failed to reach base in his only at-bat against scheduled Texas starter Taylor Hearn (3-4, 4.08).
The left-hander is slated to make a third consecutive start for the Rangers. He’s completed five innings in each of the past two and allowed two solo homers and another run while striking out six during a 7-3 victory at Cleveland on Tuesday.
“He’s been throwing really well for us,” manager Chris Woodward told the Rangers’ official website about Hearn, who prior to late July was used out of the bullpen.
“We built him up to start every five or six days.”
Hearn is 1-2 with a 5.71 ERA in five starts this season. One came at Houston on July 25, when he struck out three and did not allow a hit over three scoreless innings.
Although the Rangers have lost four straight overall — five in a row at home — and are 5-18 since Aug. 3, rookie Adolis Garcia continues to show why he’s among the brightest young stars in the game. Garcia cracked his 28th home run on Saturday and is 8-for-28 in his past six contests.
Garcia is 2-for-5 versus Greinke, but teammate Isiah Kiner-Falefa is 6-for-12 with a pair of doubles against him. Texas’ Nick Solak is 4-for-8 with three doubles when opposing Greinke.
Kiner-Falefa’s nine-game hitting streak ended on Saturday, Meanwhile, teammate Andy Ibanez had his 11-game hitting streak come to an end when he exited Saturday’s contest with an apparent injury after going hitless in his first three at-bats.
Houston might have a potential star in the making in outfielder Jake Meyers, who is batting .323 in 20 games since making his MLB debut on Aug. 1. With two hits Saturday, Meyers is 5-for-13 in his past three contests.
“(Meyer) is getting plenty of opportunity and he’s producing,” Baker said. “That’s what a young player is supposed to do with an opportunity, if he has the skill to do so. And, he certainly has the skill.”
–Field Level Media